Christopher Füllemann is a Swiss artist born in 1983 in Lausanne and graduated from the University of Art and Design (ECAL) in 2008, where he studied painting and video art, later focusing his practice in sculpture. In 2012, Füllemann graduated from San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) with the SFAI Outstanding Award in Sculpture. He received the Swiss Art Award 2011 in Basel and later the Gustave Buchet Award in 2013, which included a solo show at the Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne. Most recently Christopher Füllemann exhibited in Rotwand gallery in Zürich. Füllemann lives and works in Oakland, California and Zürich, Switzerland.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I was born and raised in Lausanne, Switzerland. I moved to San Francisco in 2010 and now I work and live between Oakland, CA and Zurich, Switzerland. I mostly work by reacting to a place, a space and a time. When I am invited to show my work, I try to stay long enough to make everything site specific. Movement and autonomy are important aspects, allowing my pieces to exist in conversation with the viewer, the space and amongst one another.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Right now I am doing a residency in Paris that includes collaborations with performers in December and a solo exhibition in January. I am also working on a sculpture garden that will be part of a performance festival this summer in a museum close to Zürich.
How did your interest in art begin? When I was 4 years old, my grandmother gave me a pencil and explained to me the memory that lines contained. Art was part of our relationship; she still influences me a lot.
What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? I use and mix a lot of different kind of materials. I usually starts with fabric, but at the end it’s hard to see it. The malleability and delicacy of the material in my work evoke the feeling of living—sometimes almost as performative structures—that challenge gravity and time. I make joyful transformations in the material I use, however the accessibility of my resources allows the spectator to stay connected with what is seen. The environment I am living in influences me. I collect images and build associations. It starts with drawings—after that it goes wild.
What artists are you interested in right now? Harry Dodge, Gelitin, Guyton/Walker, Charlotte Herzig, Meg Stuart.
What’s your favorite thing about your city? Having access to the water—river/lake/ocean.
What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? I recently drove across the U.S. from California to New York City; on the way I stopped in Chicago and saw René Magritte’s show: The Mystery of the Ordinary. I discovered works that I didn’t know and they really hit me!
What do you do when you’re not working on art? I travel. I started a passion for volcanic landscapes and decided to travel everywhere where there is volcanic activitiy. It somehow turns me on.
If you hadn’t become an artist what do you think you’d be doing? I wanted to be a dolphin when I was a child. So I will be trying to be a dolphin as much as I can.
What are you listening to right now? At the studio I listen to Arthur Russell a lot; his music has been very present in my work in the last 10 years. Otherwise right now I’m listening to Jamie XX.